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Armed Forces Act 2006

Section 51: Jurisdiction of the Service Civilian Court

133.Section 277 establishes the SCC. Section 51 sets out the offences as respects which the court has jurisdiction. The court replaces the Standing Civilian Courts that were created by the Armed Forces Act 1976. Essentially the SCC has the same jurisdiction as that of its predecessors, which is in turn similar to the jurisdiction exercised by a magistrates’ court in England and Wales.

134.The court may try any service offence (as defined in section 50) committed outside the British Islands by a civilian who was subject to service discipline at the time of the offence, unless a listed exception applies. The most significant exception in relation to an adult is any offence which under the law of England and Wales can be tried only on indictment, that is, only by the Crown Court. However, in relation to juveniles the SCC has the power (akin to that of a youth court in England and Wales) to try offences that in relation to an adult would be indictable only, apart from the listed homicide and firearms offences.

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